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Value of overseas trips in primary school?

(39 Posts)
Everhopeful Wed 07-Nov-12 09:19:19

My dd's class (Y6) is going on a trip to France next June. At this point in the school year, it doesn't feel incredibly educational to me and nearly all the secondary schools seem to do trips in Y7 or Y8 in any case. Add to that the simple increase in risk through potentially being lost in a foreign country when your grip on the language is poor...and you're 11...I'm refusing. I expect a bruising from HT on previous track record. How would you feel about it?

ImperialFireworksInMyKnickers Wed 07-Nov-12 09:22:23

The only thing that ever stops me sending dds on school trips is the cost.

mummytime Wed 07-Nov-12 09:24:14

It depends where you live. Here in the SE, France could be closer/quicker to get to than where our year 6 go to (Shropshire). It depends on how much you trust the school and how well they have done their risk assessments.

Everhopeful Wed 07-Nov-12 09:28:58

Agree about the cost, Imperial - nearly £400! I haven't really got it at the moment anyway, but it's the principle of the thing: what's the hurry, if she'll end up going with her next school? They did Isle of Wight at the start of Y5 - MIL helped with the cost of that one, but it still looked like a jolly to me.

Everhopeful Wed 07-Nov-12 09:29:56

Mummytime, the school has done this before, so at least it isn't anything new for them. They are just too blithe about assuming that we'll believe it's necessary IMO

FireOverBabylon Wed 07-Nov-12 09:31:56

Is your daughter learning French? will she be learning it in year 7? If "yes" to either of these, then she should go. It will be good for her to read signs and feel confident in what bits of French she knows - swimming pool, vegetables in the market etc and to hear French pronounced and spoken with a French accent.

Also where is she going - could they be including trips to WW2 battle fields, the Bayeux tapestry in this trip?

lljkk Wed 07-Nov-12 09:40:32

I'd send mine in a heartbeat.

Everhopeful Wed 07-Nov-12 09:42:31

Still don't see the need in two consecutive school years. We go fairly often anyway and could holiday together for not much more. We're culture vultures too so all the trips would be fine. I'd be ok with a day trip to Boulogne!

lljkk Wed 07-Nov-12 09:53:29

It's not need, just fun?
Why would HT care whether you sent her or not? confused
Around here kids in state schools don't get to go abroad until the start of yr9.

I took DC to London last week & they thought that was wildly exotic.

Everhopeful Wed 07-Nov-12 10:04:23

HT has said price is contingent on whole class going. I don't believe price would go up much as the risk to the tour operator of all the parents bailing out would be too high. It just feels like blackmail to me and I don't buy into the need. Yes, there's some educational benefit in it but there is in just living if you work it right. DD doesn't care that much - quite fancied France without a tent though grin!

Mrsrobertduvallsaysboo Wed 07-Nov-12 13:29:04

Surely a trip for yr 6 in June is a jolly as it's post Sats and pre leaving?

imnotmymum Wed 07-Nov-12 13:31:17

Let her enjoy just having a holiday away with friends if you can afford it .

lljkk Wed 07-Nov-12 13:43:29

Blackmail is outrageous, yanbu on that. Do you live in an area where everyone can afford it? shock

APMF Thu 08-Nov-12 08:11:16

DS's Year 7 class went to Spain in the summer. The official aim was to improve their Spanish but it was for 5 days with 30 of their English speaking mates. How much Spanish was learnt? Not much.

But that is not the point of these trips. So any attempt to justify the cost by assessing their educational value will fail.

See it for what it is - a 'fun' trip with a bit of learning thrown in and make your decision based on that.

APMF Thu 08-Nov-12 08:16:32

.... also, a full coach cost just as much to hire as a half full one. So, the final cost will depend on how many families share that cost.

Plus the more pupils go, the less pupils will have to be catered for back at the school.

QTPie Thu 08-Nov-12 09:02:22

Don't think that they should blackmail you to go - £400 is a lot of money (even for private school parents - who may be stretching themselves to send their child to the school in the first place...).

However, if money isn't an issue, then it is a great opportunity to learn new things, to experience some independence and to bond with school friends etc. It would seem a real shame to miss it.

seeker Thu 08-Nov-12 09:07:43

If you can afford it, then why non earth would you not let her go?

If you can't afford it then she can't go. Simple.

And if you can't afford it because you're actually poor, rather than just wantto spend thmoney on something else, then the school will have a school fund of some sort to help. Enquire.

Blu Thu 08-Nov-12 13:19:25

I would gulp at being offered a £400 school trip, and as DS has been to France and French speaking countries with us I would perhaps not prioritise £400 on this trip.

But apart from that I would love him to go on an school trip abroad. there is always so much that they get out of it, though it may not be what is described as the main purpose of the trip.

I don't think there is any specific risk to a Yr 6 child going to France. I might feel more anxious if they were canoeing and white water rafting and wild camoing in the wilderness of the Great Lakes in the U.S, or trekking in the Sahara...

mummytime Thu 08-Nov-12 14:57:23

My kids school does one trip each year: sleep over at school year 3 (cost negligible), 2 nights camping in year 4 (about £50), 3 nights in Dorset year 4 (about £250), then 4 nights in Shropshire year 6 (about £350). They do try to keep the costs down, also there is a hardship fund.
Fortunately at seniors it is one trip in year 8 (about £350), but no more prett compulsory ones until GCSE. The compulsory ones tend to be cheapish (£50) for a weekend in Dorset for Geography or have a much cheaper alternative, and there is a hardship fund. However there are lots more possible trips, DS was offered: Tanzania, Canada, India, Madagascar, and Germany. With other courses it might have been Italy or NewYork.

TunaPastaBake Thu 08-Nov-12 15:06:32

MY DS school does a French Trip in Year 6 - Cost just over £300, includes travel cost, accommodation , food and insurance .

DS1 went last year , DS2 heading off in June too.

I believe it is useful - they are encouraged to use the french they have been learning for last four years , they visit WW1 site - (WW1 and WW2 part of YR 6 curriculum, they visit Paris and do some fun stuff too.

Now , the kids work like shit over this year all towards the SATS and for many this could be the final year together before they head off to secondary school.

The children in YR6 love this trip and I think it is beneficial for the children in educationally and a great way to end their primary years.

Cost is spread over the next few months.

Bonsoir Thu 08-Nov-12 15:08:17

I agree that overseas trips are of dubious value at this age. My DD's school (in Paris) does a trip to the UK in Y5 that costs over EUR 1,000 for five days/four nights. Personally I think it's outrageous for a long journey and a trip to Mme Tussaud's and The Tower of London.

TunaPastaBake Thu 08-Nov-12 15:15:46

''simple increase in risk through potentially being lost in a foreign country when your grip on the language is poor...and you're 11...I'm refusing.''

I think you need to assess the risk here (minimal)- the amount of children at that go to France at that age and the actual number that do get lost !

The risk assessment that is done by school for a trip like this will be pages and pages ...

seeker Thu 08-Nov-12 16:49:01

"I don't think there is any specific risk to a Yr 6 child going to France"

Ooh, I don't know, Blu- you can't trust those cheese eating surrender monkeys! grin

MaggieW Thu 08-Nov-12 20:26:26

DS went to France last year in Y5 and it was about so much more than language, history or geography. He gained so much more out of it than the obvious and came back with a more mature outlook. He also had a great time with his friends and teachers and it really benefited him at school.

Hulababy Thu 08-Nov-12 20:34:35

DD went on a 3 night residential to France last May, in Y5. She had a fantastic time. They visited various places including Rouen, used their French a lot in the shops and markets, and they loved that they were going to a different country with school - it made their school trip even more exciting to them. It wasn't cheap - but it was no dearer than this year's residential which is much closer but a PGL trip which costs more.

I was not concerned about the safety issue in terms of getting lost, etc at all. School had a good history of running the same trip, a comprehensive risk assessment was completed beforehand and DD had done residentials before with school so I knew I could trust the school staff to look after them.

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